• The best of the best in Kaua’I sports
The best of the best in Kaua’I sports
By Duane Shimogawa Jr. – The Garden Island
Sports fans around the island were treated to one of the greatest years in Kaua’i’s sporting history. As I searched through my archives, I came across countless stories that could be considered in any year, as the top story of this year.
I’ve compiled a list of the top 20 sports stories for the Garden Isle and in this column, I’ll give you 20 to 10 and then in the Sunday, January 1, 2006, sports page, I’ll announce numbers 10 to 1.
So here we go with 20-10, starting with K-PAL, under the guidance of Tom Perry, taking a group of 18 Kaua’i students to participate in a state wrestling tournament for the first time.
19) Kapa’a High School’s girls bowling squad won its first-ever KIF title, fighting off tough challenges from Waimea and Kaua’i.
18) Kaua’i High School basketball and volleyball standout Futi Tavana earned a volleyball scholarship to BYU. Along the way, Tavana earned first-team all-state honors in both basketball and volleyball in his senior season.
17) Kaua’i High School baseball standout Kirby Yates, the younger brother of New York Mets pitcher Tyler Yates, was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the latter rounds of the MLB draft. Yates decided to enter Yavapai JC and will be a draft- and-watch type of player for Boston.
16) Richard M. Doi, the father of “The Big Blue Machine,” passed away earlier this year. His genius football mind and first-class attitude were just two of many reasons why he’ll be missed by many individuals around the island.
15) Kaua’i Pony All-Stars win state title. Led by head coach Wayne Wakumoto, the team rose to the top of the state, by defeating tough O’ahu squads.
14) Kaua’i High School takes third straight football, baseball titles. Under head coaches Keli’i Morgado (football) and Hank Ibia (baseball), the Red Raiders have been dominant and dynasty like.
13) Hanalei’s Andy Irons is king of Triple Crown of Surfing. Although Irons failed to win a fourth straight surfing world title, he still managed to finish the year strong with a fine effort at Pipeline.
12) Hanalei’s Alana Blanchard, a 15-year-old surf phenom, blisters the field, grabbing the first-ever women’s shortboard competition held at Pipeline. Blanchard also finished third in a pro event earlier this year, taking home $500.
11) Westside Wrestling starts up first-ever organized wrestling tournament on Kaua’i. With help from O’ahu wrestling coaches, Mac Pigott, head coach of Westside Wrestling, turned Waimea High School’s gym into a wrestler’s paradise.
- Look for the top 10 Kaua’i sports stories in the Sunday, January 1 sports section of The Garden Island.
- Duane Shimogawa Jr., sports editor, may be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or kauaisports@kauaipubco. com.